“Summertime…. and the livin’ is easy”or so the classic tune tells us. But 2020 has certainly not been easy so far and summer for most of us is turning out much differently than planned. While the summer months are often a healthy time, for many people, this year is a challenge.
In summers past, healthy living happened naturally: team sports, concerts, outdoor exercise, adventure travel, sightseeing walks and the simple boost to well-being from the pleasure of gathering with family and friends for special events and traditions. Whatever your version of an active summer, this year it’s likely been compromised in some way, if not cancelled altogether.
While most people are doing their best to “pivot” as the COVID-coping buzzword suggests, we’re certainly missing these activities in our lives. It can be challenging to find a new exercise routine, let alone make it a habit in the new normal, and physical and mental well-being can suffer as a result. Here’s a boost to your health we recommend, a simple activity available to you and your family even under COVID constraints—no cost, no equipment or lessons needed and distancing is possible.
Take a walk. According to Dr. Mike Evans of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto along with many other experts, walking is the best form of exercise to increase fitness and resilience and ward off ill health. If you need convincing, take a look at this five-minute clip from Dr. Mike about the benefits of a half hour walk.
A good walk anywhere is great exercise. A good walk in nature is even better. If you have access to country air, a beach, provincial park or your own ‘back 40’ you’re lucky. But research shows greenspace is what matters, so urban parks and quiet, tree-lined streets also provide that touch of nature that helps lower stress and improve focus and concentration while your body benefits from the exercise. There’s a growing amount of research on the benefit of “Park Prescriptions”.
In this pandemic summer, when the livin’ may not be so easy, a walk is the perfect tonic.
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